The Behn Legacy – what Aphra did for us

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I recently attended the Women Playwrights International Conference in Sweden, and was very inspired by the event. I will be writing a series of articles about and inspired by the conference over the next few weeks, as well as putting some relevant new pages up here.

The first of those is a new section to this site ‘The Behn Legacy’ which will give a brief overview of 400 years of British women playwrights – based on a talk I did for International Women’s Day 2012.

During a discussion panel that I was a panelist on at WPIC, about Female Representation on Stage – it was agreed that one of the ways to improve the balance is for more education about women writers. In response to this, the new section will be a resource giving a very broad brushstrokes introduction to women playwrights that you may or may not have heard about – who you can find out more about yourself, starting with Aphra Behn.

How many UK-based female playwrights can most people name? Unless you are a specialist, probably not that many. But as I started researching my talk, I discovered that there have been far more women influential not only in playwriting, but also in theatre management and shaping the theatre as we know it today, so I ended up with the ambitious aim of giving an overall context of the last 400 years of British women’s contributions to the theatre in a 2-hour talk. The pages you will find in the new section (which will continue to grow) have been edited and added to, based on the research for the talk. They are not a comprehensive study, more a broad brushstrokes picture to inspire your own discovery of these fantastic (and sometimes overlooked) women.

Explore The Behn Legacy section.



About 17Percent

A campaign to get more plays by women playwrights onto UK stages.
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